We further explored the upper floor of the building which housed offices, sleeping quarters, shower rooms and bathrooms, an intimate chapel and utility rooms. Fr John also pointed out various artefacts that were displayed around the building and collected by the Missionaries from countries all over the world. The guided tour by Fr John gave us all an insight into the life of the brotherhood and the community it has served over the years. When Fr John finished the tour of the house, we all gathered in a large living room which is often used for spiritual retreats or meetings with the community. We sat in a circle where we could ask Fr John some more questions about the current use of the building, how it serves the local community and how the Missionary of the Sacred Heart envisions the future of Myross Wood House. Fr John discussed the difficulties regarding the expense of maintaining the house and how the house is ideal as a Centre for Spirituality and Retreat and how it is surrounded by the beautiful landscape and nature of Myross Wood.
Fr John suggested we then take a walk through Myross Wood and experience the surrounding nature on the grounds. The gardens entering the wood were well kept and boasted a variety of different species and an array of colours. As we entered further into the wood we saw a lot of damage caused by the storm the year before, dubbed ‘Beast from the East’, by the Irish media. Many trees had been uprooted and some of the pathways were obstructed by fallen debris and tree trunks. This still did not detract from the wild beauty of the wood and it being a precious amenity for the Missionaries and the community.
We all left Myross Wood that day feeling a sense of tranquillity and peace before hitting the traffic queuing up to get into Cork city. We all felt a little more familiar with one another after our shared experience and concluded the visit with a meal at The Bodega in the city centre, where we sat together, ate together and even broke into song before saying goodbye.